Our Winnie the Pooh and Friends UK Coin Collection celebrates the wonderful world and the characters that inhabit it, which were created by A. A. Milne and brought to life by the delightful illustrations of E. H. Shepard.
The 50p coin series began in 2020 with coins featuring Pooh Bear, Christopher Robin and Piglet and we revealed the design process to fans of the ‘silly old bear’ here.
Now, as we release three more 50p coins, in the same year as the 95th anniversary of the first Winnie-the-Pooh storybook’s publication, we caught up with Daniel Thorne, a member of The Royal Mint’s Product Design team, who was closely involved in designing the coins. The friends from the Hundred Acre Wood all love a party. So, to open the series for 2021, all the friends feature together on one coin – perfect for this this special anniversary.
"Achieving the detail with all the characters on one small coin was pretty tough! We had quite a few iterations of this design in particular, but I knew it was really important to have the whole gang in one place. I think it came out as one of my favourites in the end.”
Two more friends join the fun in 2021, as Owl and Tigger feature on their own coins too. Finding ways to show their distinctive characters was a difficult but enjoyable task, as Daniel explains:
"Capturing Tigger’s bounce was down to the lovely quality of E .H Shepard’s illustration style. He created numerous spot illustrations for the original books, some of which look as if they were made to be on a coin! This design was an easy choice to represent Tigger and his bouncy movement and took very little adjustment. I also think the bee zipping by helps with this.
With Owl there is a lot of detail, such as the quill and note, so that was tricky, but I’d say the same for the whole range. We always try to do the artwork justice, not only because these illustrations are so recognisable but because they’re so meaningful to so many people. We tried to keep the same flowy, loose ink and watercolour illustration style when working with the model to really capture what makes the artwork special … Hats off to the team that work on the printing side for achieving such small nuance in the final print.”